Foiled £220m heist highlights spyware threat

The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit has foiled what would have been the world's largest bank robbery

The UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit has foiled the world's largest potential bank robbery.

Thieves were plotting a high-tech coup, with the aid of spyware, to steal £220m from the London offices of Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui.

But the NHTCU was onto the plot as early as last October after it was discovered the bank's system had been compromised.

Keylogging software was being used to relay passwords and access information to the criminals who then intended to transfer the funds electronically.

A man in Israel was arrested after trying transfer £13.9m of the funds.

According to reports the bank claims to have not suffered any financial losses during the compromised period. The bank would make no further comment while the investigation was ongoing.

The case highlights the potential and the growing menace of spyware.

ZDNet UK will bring you more details on this case as we get them. At the time of writing the NHTCU was unavailable for comment.